The Sacred Calendar


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The modern Gregorian Calendar is an invention of the Roman Catholic Church. This calendar, with religious holidays designed and enforced by the Catholic Church, is a counterfeit of God's Sacred Calendar. A return to all truth is also a return to understanding and observing God's Sacred Calendar.

The first point, which must be clearly established. God's sacred calendar is based on the movements of the sun and the moon.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs [signals], and for seasons [appointed times], and for days, and years:
Genesis 1:14

The sun and moon are the signals for all the appointed times of God. Astronomical data is used to determine the sacred calendar. The word "seasons" is the Hebrew word "MUOD" which has a very special meaning and is closely associated with the feasts.


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  1. appointed place, appointed time, meeting
    1. appointed time
      1. appointed time (general)
      2. sacred season, set feast, appointed season
    2. appointed meeting
    3. appointed place
    4. appointed sign or signal
    5. tent of meeting
Strong's Concordance #04150

When I first began studying God's calendar, it reminded me of things I had learned to avoid like Astrology, birth month signs, and horoscopes. Those things are Satan's counterfeits. God intends for us to be aware of the movements in the sky according to what He specifies but we need to avoid getting interested in the counterfeits.

The Jewish Calendar

The closest modern example of God's calendar is the Jewish Calendar. The popular Jewish calendar is based on a formula for following the movements of the sun and the moon. This formula is not quite accurate even as an average. Errors and disagreements in the reckoning of the Jewish Calendar since the third century (or before) create confusion about the exact date of the Passover and the other feasts. Errors and disagreements of a day or two are common and occasionally the exact month can be in dispute. Astronomical data makes accurate determination possible, if you agree on the rules.

It is important to point out in the following discussion I am not speaking about a Jewish Calendar. It is God's Sacred Calendar. Please note. This chapter is detailed and complete but it does not try to be exhaustive. This subject alone fills a book. Refer to the book God's Sacred Calendar, which is found on the website:

www.SacredCalendar.info

The confusion over the calendar occurs because the Bible, which is the only completely trustworthy source, is not scientifically clear on determining the calendar. This does not mean you cannot determine the calendar, but it requires careful study of the Bible compared with outside sources. The study and uncertainty of interpretation required leads to differences of understanding.

Biblical Principles and Witnesses

When looking at history and tradition as a source of understanding it is important to use Biblical principles. The use of the Biblical principle of two or three credible witness is an important guide.

6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deuteronomy 17:6

This principle applies in capital offense cases and in the establishment of guilt for any sin.

15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Deuteronomy 19:15

The Saviour applied this principle to any disputed matter and made it the heart of His principles for conflict resolution.

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Matthew 18:16

The apostle Paul invoked this principle in his dealings with the contentious Corinthians.

1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
II Corinthians 13:1

Reference Point

Time and date determination is a difficult issue because it is different around the world. I believe as the Jews did in the first century and most do now. Jerusalem is the reference point because the law goes forth out of the eternal city. Otherwise, people in a different part of the world may be celebrating a different day! The weekly Sabbath is celebrated on the same day around the world following the sunset. The observance of the yearly Sabbaths should be the same.

  • The Bible states the Holy City will be placed on the current site of Jerusalem in the New Earth.
    4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
    Zechariah 14:4
  • The law goes forth from Zion.
    3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    Isaiah 2:3
    Nearly identical reference in Micah.
    2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    Micah 4:2
  • The Jews were led to make this the site of the temple and the capital of Israel. There is also evidence the gate to the Garden of Eden was at the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem.

    www.IAUA.name/Where.html

The Sacred Day

The local sacred day begins with evening at sunset.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:5

At the sunrise in Jerusalem, the new day begins for the world about twelve hours in advance of arriving in Jerusalem. All calendar determinations depend on understanding the difference between the local day and the day from the world perspective.

Those places on earth up to twelve hours ahead of Jerusalem begin the day in advance of its coming to Jerusalem. Those places on earth up to twelve hours after Jerusalem begin the day after its coming to Jerusalem. The International Date Line is relatively accurate. I am sure God will not condemn those near the IDL, if they worship a day early with those to the east or a day late with those to the west. Community associations can affect choices to worship with those to the east or with those to the west near the date line.

If you live without any contact with civilization and the calculated time of sunset is not available, you can use observation to approximate the beginning of the day.

A day on God's sacred calendar begins at sunset. A day on the Gregorian calendar begins at midnight. This creates a discrepancy when a Gregorian day or date is used to identify a sacred day or date. By convention, the sacred day actually begins with sunset of the previous Gregorian day. As an example, the weekly Sabbath (a sacred day) is Saturday (a Gregorian day) and begins at sundown on Friday (a Gregorian day).

The Sacred Week

The weekly cycle ending with the weekly Sabbath was established at creation.

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Genesis 2:1-3

The Bible is not scientifically clear on how to know which day is the weekly Sabbath. There is no astronomical evidence for the weekly cycle. God has preserved His weekly cycle through tradition so there is no doubt of the Sabbath day when you accept it is the seventh day of the week and not the first.

The tradition of the seven-day weekly cycle is deeply ingrained into our society dating back to at least the time of the Messiah. We can have confidence the Son of God correctly followed all of God's Law. The Catholic Church and the Jewish people were the faithful preservers of the seven-day weekly cycle. No reasonable person doubts this. The Bible is absolutely clear the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath. We depend on tradition to know the days of the week. We can only know which date on the calendar is the Sabbath because of this tradition.

The Sacred Month

The sacred month begins with the first complete sacred day (from a world perspective) after the signal of the astronomical new moon (solar conjunction). This signal is sometimes spectacularly visible with a solar eclipse. The Hebrew word for month actually means "new moon". The Biblical month usually begins with a visible (in Jerusalem) sliver of the new moon. This verse refers to Trumpets Sabbath, which is the first day of the month.

3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
Psalms 81:3
This is how to use the Gregorian date of the new moon to calculate the Gregorian date for the first day of the sacred month. If the new moon is before sunrise in Jerusalem, add 1 day to the Gregorian date of the new moon. If after, add 2 days. Stated in a different way, the beginning of the month is the sunset, after the sunrise in Jerusalem, which is after the astronomical new moon.

There is another way to understand this determination. After sunrise in Jerusalem, the new day has already begun on the other side of the world. The first day of the month must begin for the whole world after the signal of the New Moon.

If you live without any contact with civilization and the calculated time of the new moon and sunrise in Jerusalem is not available, you can use observation of the first visible sliver of the new moon to approximate the beginning of the month.

Some people always calculate the new month based on assumptions about the local observation of the first visible sliver of the new moon. The complicated calculations and arbitrary decisions about what constitutes visible are too unreliable to be the basis of God's law. Variability in eyesight, weather conditions, altitude, location, and other factors make using these methods as a primary determination unacceptable.

The use of observation rules for the start of the month creates confusing discrepancies between different people in different areas of the world. Though the result is sometimes the same, this causes serious disunity, which does not serve the cause of God. I am sure God does not condemn those who follow the best understanding they know.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30

Imagine the confusion, if the start of the Sabbath at sundown was based only on observation rules instead of astronomical data referenced to the fixed location of Jerusalem. Those who travel would quickly discover the dateline paradox, as Magellan did hundreds of years ago. Those who live near the Arctic Circle still have a struggle.

Some suggest those in times past did not have the modern grasp of astronomy for determining time. This is incorrect. There is evidence of calendars based on advanced calculations as far back as history records. An interesting historical fact, noted in the SDA Bible Commentary, Abraham was known as a great astronomer. This was probably because astronomy was necessary to keep track of God's calendar.

The Jewish people currently determine the start of the month from a formula, which is not completely accurate. They also observe rules called postponements, which are not scriptural.

These differences in interpretation are why differences of a day or two can sometimes occur in the start of the month.

The Sacred Year

The equinox of the sun signals the time for the beginning of the year. The Bible clearly states the year begins in spring.

3 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exodus 12:2
Jewish tradition in general and Catholic tradition in particular preserves for us the specific determination. The pagan New Year begins with the first day of the pagan first month but God’s New Year is the first yearly Sabbath. This is the simple rule of determination. The first yearly Sabbath is the first full moon after the equinox. We call this the “Spring Passover” rule.

This is the more precise way to state the rule. The first yearly Sabbath is the evening at the end of the first 14th day (full moon) of a month where the sun rises at Golgotha (Jerusalem) after the spring equinox. Sunrise on the 14th day marks the beginning of the 15th day about 12 hours in advance of its coming to Jerusalem. The first yearly Sabbath occurs within about thirty days immediately after the signal of the spring equinox. This is the “Spring Passover” rule. It is not to be more than a month away, as the drifting popular calendar has it in some years.

If you live without any contact with civilization and the calculated time of the spring equinox is not available, you can use observation of the position of the sun to approximate the beginning of the year. This is difficult to do without training.

The Jews follow a formula, created after the destruction of Jerusalem and the disbanding of the Sanhedrin about the third century, for determining the first month of the year. Small errors in this formula cause Passover to come later and later in the year as the centuries go by.

There are those who believe the first day of the first sacred month must be after the spring equinox. This is called the “Spring New Moon” rule. This belief is based on the fact the Millerites used this method to determine the Day of Atonement in 1844 as October 22. It is surprising those who never observed all of God's Sacred Calendar are used as authorities in determining the calendar. They were correct in recognizing it was the 10th day of the seventh month on God's Sacred Calendar. They were correct in the beliefs and meaning of the day even though they made an error and selected the wrong date on the Gregorian calendar.

The primary justification among Adventists for this choice of determination is the claim Ellen White never spoke against it. This claim is false. It is important to note she did not begin her prophetic ministry until after the date was long past. Believers had not yet even accepted the weekly Sabbath until years later.

The Holy Spirit chose not to make this an issue and create unnecessary confusion and dissension. Those who have learned to follow all of God's Law should take careful note of this example. Nevertheless, her words do contradict this and show the truth of the “Spring Passover” rule.

The time of the Passover corresponded to the close of March or the beginning of April… {DA 75.2} Also {PP 537.3}

The Millerite determination has Passover of 1844 about May 4. This is clearly outside of the range of Ellen’s general statement.

There are also those who insist observation of the ripening of the barley crop at Jerusalem is to be used to determine the start of the New Year. This ignores the fact astronomical data is used to determine the sacred calendar.

These differences in interpretation are why differences of an entire month can sometimes occur in the start of the year.

Yearly Sabbaths

The observance of all Sabbaths is described in Leviticus 23. The weekly Sabbath is described first, then the yearly Sabbaths. The yearly Sabbaths are described by the same words as the weekly Sabbath. In this quotation and the ones following the identical words indicating holy convocation and no work are underlined.

One of the excuses for not observing the yearly Sabbaths is they were nailed to the cross with the "Law of Moses". Every scriptural excuse used to justify neglecting the yearly Sabbaths is the same excuse Sunday-keepers use against the weekly Sabbath.

Only the offering of animal sacrifices was completed at the cross. Only the charges against us were nailed to the cross.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Daniel 9:27

Another of the excuses for not observing the yearly Sabbaths is they had animal sacrifices associated with them. The weekly Sabbath had animal sacrifices associated with it. We still keep the Sabbath but remove the animal sacrifices.

Another of the excuses for not observing the yearly Sabbaths is they don't know how to observe them. There is no mystery! All Sabbaths are observed the same, by holy convocation and no work. The Fourth Commandment does not even tell us what to do on Sabbath. It tells us what not to do. You have to go to the statutes to learn a holy convocation is expected.

Do you have some other excuse? Listen to the word of God.

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:1-3

The sacred yearly Sabbaths are memorials of great events in God's Sacred Calendar and prophetic dates for fulfillment of past and future signs. I believe this will be especially true at the end of time. I anticipate each of the yearly Sabbaths may mark a special event at the return of the Messiah.

The following table is a list of the events on God's Sacred Calendar. A reference date from the Gregorian Calendar for the year 2008 is indicated. The Gregorian equivalent calendar dates change every year. The date on the Sacred Calendar never changes. The terminology from the Jewish Calendar is also provided.

I am using numbers for the months of the Sacred Calendar in keeping with the Biblical example. The references to the sacrificial system, are crossed out.

4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Leviticus 23:4
These are the events on God's Sacred Calendar:

Passover

01-14 (Not a Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Erev Pesach
Gregorian Calendar: March 22, 2008
14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
Exodus 12:14
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.
Leviticus 23:5
18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
Exodus 12:18

Feast of Unleavened Bread

01-15 First day (Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Pesach I
Gregorian Calendar: March 23, 2008
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:6-7
01-21 Last day (Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Pesach VII
Gregorian Calendar: March 29, 2008
8 in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:8

Feast of Pentecost

03-05 or 06 (Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Shavu'ot
Gregorian Calendar: May 12, 2008
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days;
Leviticus 23:16
21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
Leviticus 23:21
The fifty-day count crosses two ends of the month. The day of the month depends on the number of days in those months. In God's Sacred Calendar the number of days in a month is not fixed as it is in the popular Jewish calendar, which is based on a fixed formula.

Feast of Trumpets

07-01 (Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Rosh Hashanah
Gregorian Calendar: September 1, 2008
24 In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein:
Leviticus 23:24-25

Day of Atonement

07-10 (Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Yom Kippur
Gregorian Calendar: September 10, 2008
27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
Leviticus 23:27-28

Feast of Tabernacles

07-15 First day (Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Sukkot
Gregorian Calendar: September 15, 2008
34 The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:34-35

Last Great Day

07-22 (Sabbath)
Jewish Calendar: Shemini Atzeret
Gregorian Calendar: September 22, 2008
36 On the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:36
A complete example of God's Sacred Calendar marked with equivalent dates of the Gregorian calendar for the years 2008 – 2013 is in the second book of this series and at the following website. Expanded information about God's Sacred Calendar is available in the third book of this series and at this website:

www.SacredCalendar.info

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Revised 2012-07-13